NORMAN — Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), who has a Ph.D in British history, issued the following statement on the death of former British Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher:
“Margaret Thatcher first came to my attention when I was a student living in London in the 1970s. One of my best British friends served as her private parliamentary secretary and several others served as conservative members of Parliament during her extraordinary career.
“My own political career began as she became prime minister and I looked upon her as a role model and trailblazer. Indeed to this day, I keep a picture of her and Ronald Reagan on my desk in my congressional office.
“Lady Thatcher was the most consequential British prime minister after Winston Churchill in the 20th century. She led the Conservative Party out of the wilderness back into the majority and then transformed a failing socialist state into an economic dynamo that enriched and empowered its citizens while projecting power and advancing freedom on the world stage.
“The partnership between Thatcher and Reagan was comparable to that between Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. The latter helped to win the Second World War while Thatcher and Reagan did the same in the Cold War. Thatcher’s career holds many lessons for us all. She showed the power of conviction and courage in the political arena, and she reminds us that when leaders lead, great goals can be accomplished in public life.
University of Oklahoma President David Boren expressed similarly profound admiration for Thatcher upon learning of her death, stating that both the university and he personally have a special appreciation for her.
“The passing of Margaret Thatcher is not only a loss to Great Britain but also to the world. She will always have a place in our hearts at the University of Oklahoma, where she made one of her last public speeches before being stricken by a stroke.
“During my years in the Senate, I was privileged to meet with her several times and to count her as a friend. I will always remember the advice she gave me based upon her own life experience. It was ‘always expect the unexpected and be prepared for it.’”
— Transcript Staff